Saturday, February 28, 2009

Joba Unimpressive In Spring Debut

Well, we finally got to see one of the Yankees starting 5 today. Too bad the outing was far from impressive. Joba, in my opinion, looked terrible. I wrote the other day that I don't really look at a pitcher's line when judging a spring outing. I look more at their control and their velocity. Joba threw 21 pitches, 11 for strikes, 10 for balls. Not a good strike-to-ball ratio. The Twins were on his pitches and that had a lot to do with Joba's velocity, or should I say lack thereof. His fastest pitch topped out at 90, which I think he hit only once. The majority of the pitches he threw were fastballs and most were in the mid-high 80s, ranging from 85-89, with most being at the lower end of that range. Joba, when in mid-season form, usually has his fastball hitting in the mid-to-upper 90s. He was about 10 mph below what he usually does. That velocity should increase throughout the spring as his arm strength builds up. By the time Opening Day rolls around, he'll have that pop back, and that should lead to better outings.

Jose Veras on the other hand did impress me. His fastball was consistently in the low 90s, hovering around 93. He struck out 2 and should have whiffed the side except the home plate ump called a ball on what was obviously strike 3 to Denard Span. Veras had a nasty hook working today.

Put Dan Giese in the unimpressive category. He didn't do too hot. It's early, he'll bounce back. I still like him for the swingman role.

Kei Igawa had a surprisingly nice outing. He still has no shot at heading north with the club, even he runs the table and pitches a scoreless spring.

The offense had a pretty solid day. Through the 1st two times through the lineup, everyone had reached base via a hit or walk except for Jose Molina, Nick Swisher and Johnny Damon. Swisher did reach on an error and Damon did have a successful sac bunt that eventually led to a run, so I won't hold that against him. They're getting on base. That's a good sign. You can't score runs if you're not on base.

Jorge Posada was scratched from today's game because of "soreness in his right shoulder." According to Bryan Hoch's article, Posada says, "I played yesterday with it, and I could play today. It doesn't hurt me to throw, and it doesn't hurt me to hit. It's just sore. "I knew there was going to be soreness. I was expecting it to be a little bit earlier than now. Since everything was going so well, we kept going. It's just a little bump in the road. I think it's going to be fine." I don't think it's anything to be overly concerned with but it's something to keep an eye on.

And I'm still lovin' Jose Molina's arm!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Friday, February 27, 2009

Prediction For Opening Day Roster

In the comments of my last post, regular reader Dino offered up a sort-of prediction of who he expected/wanted in the Yankee bullpen. That got me to thinking about who'd comprise the Opening Day roster and I figured why not give a crack at predicting who will make the squad. So here's what I think/prefer, assuming of course that they all remain healthy.

The offensive givens: Jorge Posada, Jose Molina, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady, Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher

The pitching givens: CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain, Mariano Rivera, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte

For those too lazy to count the names, it's 18 and that leaves 7 spots. One of those is the CF position, which is a battle between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. I honestly don't have a preference to one over the other. I think both are 4th OFs at best. Since it looks like one is definitely making the team, barring a trade, I'm going with Gardner as the winner. I don't think the Yankees are high on Melky anymore. His time has come and gone. Even though his OBP was horrible last season, I think the Yankees like what Gardner brings to the table, namely he's quick. His upside is also probably a little higher than Melky's. I think he has more potential to help the team. So I'm pegging Gardner to be our Opening Day center fielder.

One of the spots is going to a back-up infielder. There aren't many guys to choose from. I think it's a 3-horse race between Cody Ransom, Juan Miranda, and Angel Berroa. Berroa is a chump and lets face it, he ain't making the team. I think Miranda is one-dimensional, being best suited as a first-baseman. Ransom is versatile and can play pretty much anywhere in the infield. He logged time at each position last year. It helps to have a guy that can fill in anywhere. Cody Ransom will make the Opening Day Roster.

So that leaves 5 open spots, all of which are going to relief pitchers. One of those guys is going to be a swing-man, someone who can start or relieve. The options for that role as I see it are Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, Brett Tomko, Ian Kennedy, Humberto Sanchez, Kei Igawa and Dan Giese. in my opinion, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Alfredo Aceves, need to start and that won't be happening in the majors. They're ticketed for Scranton. Sanchez is still a year or so away and is coming off an injury. I don't even know why Igawa is on the list as he blows. He's an option and not a good one. See you in Scranton. That leaves Tomko and Giese. Tomko was horrible last season and I don't see him performing well enough to earn that spot. Dan Giese had a pretty solid campaign in 2008 (3.53 ERA in 43.1 IPs, 1.22 WHIP, .232 average against) and I think he's the best man for the job. He can start (3 starts in 2008) and can relieve (17 relief appearances). And of all the names above, he's the last one I would think needs to get in a healthy amount of innings. Giese is my pick for the swing man. It's his job to lose.

And then their were 4. 4 spots for by my estimation 6 guys: Phil Coke, Edwar Ramirez, David Robertson, Jose Veras, Mark Melancon, and Jonathan Albaladejo. This is probably the most difficult of all the choices because all of them are more than capable of pitching at the major league level. There's only room at the inn for 4 so 2 have to go. A lot of this could come down to who shines this spring and who falters. I think Coke and Edwar are locks as they pitched well enough last year to earn the spots. Coke so far has been the man. He's in for sure. Edwar at times can be inconsistent, but for the most part, he gets the job done. Like Giese, it's their jobs to lose. Veras probably pitched well enough to earn a spot, which leaves one opening for Robertson, Melancon, and Albaladejo. I think Albaladejo goes to AAA. Like Humberto Sanchez, he's coming off an injury and he's probably best suited to start the season in Scranton. I think Robertson probably had the job heading into the spring but I don't think he's going to have a better spring than Melancon. It's a toss up and I can go either way. I think Melancon is going to have a better spring so he's my call for the last spot.

So after all of that, I realized that that would be 12 hitters and 13 pitchers which probably isn't the right balance. I don't see the Yanks carrying 13 pitchers. It's possible since they'll have a lot of versatility on the bench. Swisher can play 1B/OF/DH. Matsui can play OF/DH. Ransom can play anywhere in the infield. I can see the team wanting to maybe carry another middle infielder. I don't see anybody really filling that role except for Angel Berroa or a dark horse candidate that comes out of nowhere. For lack of a better option, I'm going with Berroa. Unfortunately, that means I'm sending Mark Melancon back to the minors. He has to absolutely blow everyone else away to pick up one of the spots, and that's certainly possible.

The offense: Jorge Posada, Jose Molina, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady, Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, Cody Ransom, Angel Berroa

The pitching: CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain, Mariano Rivera, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, Dan Giese, Jose Veras, Phil Coke, Edwar Ramirez.

So there you have it. That's who I think will comprise the Yankees Opening Day roster, based on everyone making it through the spring without ending up on the DL. So what do you guys think? What do you disagree with and why? There are definitely some question marks and I'm curious what everyone else thinks.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Beautiful Sight To See

How awesome was it to see the Pinstripes in action today? I love the 1st home spring training game of the year for that very reason. There's nothing like seeing those uniforms trot out of the dugout every February. It truly mean baseball has arrived, at least for me anyway. I love it and I get little goosebumps every year when this game happens.

I had to DVR the game today, as I do with most spring training games. I'm not interested in watching it from start to finish and much of the game is watched at the slowest fast forward speed. I never make it thru the whole game either. For the most part, I lose interest once the starters have left the game. I usually don't watch the offensive innings either. I'm more interested in watching the pitchers get their work in. I will watch some of the offensive innings, usually to see how certain guys look, especially if they're coming back from an injury.

Today I made it thru 7 innings and everything I wanted to see, I saw. On the offensive side of things, I was most interested in seeing Posada get a few swings in. I was extremely pleased with what I saw. He absolutely crushed the 1st pitch he saw this spring and that was great to see. The offense missed his production last year and if today is a sign of things to come, the Jorge of old is back. He probably would have gone yard in his 2nd AB had the wind not been blowing in. I know it's only 1 game, but Jorgie looked really good. Two thumbs up.

Mark Teixeira was another guy I was excited to see, more so because it was his debut in Pinstripes. 1 for 2 with a single and a K. Not the best debut, but it's early. At least he didn't got oh-for-2 with 2 Ks.

On the defensive side of things, was it me or did Robinson Cano show a lot of mobility today? I was impressed with his range, especially on the ball he ran down in short RF. I'm hoping his lazy days are behind him.

I was really excited to see the trio of Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, and Brian Bruney pitch today. All 3 will likely factor into the Yankees' plans this year, with Bruney being the only lock for the Opening Day roster. Hughes is ticketed for triple-A, and Coke is on the bubble. When it comes to a pitcher and spring training, I don't put a lot of stock in hits and runs allowed. I know a lot of times they focus on throwing certain pitches and they may get knocked around here and there. I try to focus on balls vs. strikes as well as velocity, amongst other things. Hughes hit 2 guys, but from what I read on Pete Abraham's blog, they've been working on throwing inside so I don't put too much stock in the 2 hit batsmen. His velocity looked good, steady rocking around 91-92 mph. He walked 1, whiffed 2, all in all, a solid debut.

I'm sure you'll read this many times throughout his career, but I am high on Coke. I'm sure I'm not the first person to say that, and I won't be the last. He pitched very well in his short stint last September and he pretty much picked up right where he left off. I'm glad the Yankees abandoned their plans to have Coke work as a starter, at least for now. On the depth chart, he's probably, what, the 9th or 10th starter maybe? I don't see him getting a shot at starting any time soon. He's got the make up to be a late inning guy, one that can be relied on to get the lead to Mariano Rivera. I hope he's in the team's plans and gets a lot of major league innings this year. Let's all get high on Coke together.

And right now, when I think of Brian Bruney, I think 8th inning set up guy. His velocity was up there today. I think he hit 95 on the gun. That was impressive. He pitched extremely well last year before he got hurt and when he came back late in the year. He was absolutely lights out last September, throwing 10 scoreless innings, allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks, whiffing 12. Right now, he's the guy I want to see pitching in the late innings when the team has the lead. Bruney in the 8th. Rivera in the 9th. Ball game over.

The Yanks are now 2-0 this spring and so far we're off to a good start. No major injuries (knock on wood), the pitching is doing very well and that's what I'm most encouraged about. The team travels tomorrow to face the Twins for a 1:05pm start. The game isn't on TV or the radio, unless you're like me, and have a subscription to XM Radio. The game is on channel 178. That should make the afternoon work day move a little faster. Can't go wrong there.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Girardi Announces How Yankees Rotation Will Shape Up

According to Pete Abraham's blog, Joe Girardi has made it known how the Yankees will set their rotation.

  1. CC Sabathia - No brainer. He's one of the best in the game and the more starts he gets the better.
  2. Chien-Ming Wang - Now that's what I'm talking about. The Wanger gets a little respect. I always found it funny how people started referring to Wang as our #3 after the A.J. Burnett signing. I'll take Wang over A.J. any day of the week. I wonder if Wang in the 2-spot has more to do with respect for Wang or if it was more of a strategic move, which I'll mention below.
  3. A.J. Burnett - I like putting Burnett after Wang because it splits up the power pitchers and it will allow the Yankees to give teams a different look every night and it could help to throw the opposing hitters off a little bit. He just needs to stay healthy.
  4. Andy Pettitte - I like Andy in the 4 spot for pretty much the same reason I like Wang in the 2-hole. It again splits up the power pitchers. Pettitte ain't what he used to be and the lower he is in the rotation the better. I'm just hoping for a 500 record.
  5. Joba Chamberlain - Another no-brainer. Joba has to be in the 5-spot purely because of his projected inning total. He only logged 116 innings last year and according to Pete's post, the Yankees are projecting him to start 30 games. Wow. That seems like a lot and I'm surprised they expect so many starts from him. Even at only 5 innings per start that's 150 innings, which is a big jump for a guy they've been babying. I'm going to guess if he gets in all 30 starts, he'll finish with about 180 IPs. That's quite the jump. It also makes sense to put him right before Sabathia. If Joba continuously clocks in with 5-6 IPs per start, the Yankees will have to use the pen more. Sabathia will follow Joba and he's a horse and should be able to give the pen the night off for all intents and purposes. Same with the Wanger.

From top-to-bottom, it's pretty stacked and for money is one of, if not the, best rotation in baseball. Needless to say, this rotation works for me and I have to think that a monkey could have set it up. No offense Joe.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Boogie Down Book Club: The Yankee Years - Chapters 3-11

I'm doing my best to finish The Yankee Years. I've read through chapter 11 which for those keeping score at home is 340 pages deep into the 482-page book. I don't know how many of you watch Yankees On Deck on the YES Network. They did a little feature last year (or maybe 2 years ago) about A-Rod and his children's book, Out of the Ballpark. During the spot, Alex mentioned he likes to read, but often reads multiple books at a time, so it takes him longer to get through a book than most people. That's pretty much what I'm doing right now as I've also been reading John Feinstein's Living on the Black, which for those that don't know, is a book about Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine and their respective 2007 seasons. So in case anyone was wondering why it's taken me so long to get through The Yankee Years, that's why.

Chapter 3 was an extremely interesting chapter, perhaps one of my favorite in the book. It pretty much focused on steroids in baseball and Verducci did a good job writing about it. It was also interesting to read about the rise of the Red Sox and the fall of the Yankees. Basically, the Red Sox were well ahead of the curve when it came to figuring out what was needed to win, and the Yankees were, well, late to the party. Verducci credits the Sox with being on the forefront of building a roster full of guys with high OBPs as oppsoed to high batting averages, believing that having more runners on base would lead to more runs scored. I can't argue with Verducci. The Sox were definitely on the ball and only now are the Yankees catching up in my opinion.

There are quite a few interesting stories mixed in along the way. Perhaps the funnies, and at the same time most disturbing, comes on page 132, and it comes courtesy of Yankee trainer Steve Donahue. The story has to do with Roger Clemens and his pre-game ritual of having Donahue run the hottest possible liniment of the Rocket's testicles. Ha ha ha and ewww gross. I don't care who you are or how much I'm getting paid, the last thing I'm doing is rubbing something on another man's junk. I'm not sure why Rocket couldn't do that himself. Maybe he couldn't be bothered with washing his hands afterwards. But come on man, seriously? To quote Donahue, "He'd start snorting like a bull." I'll admit. I had had some mental imagery of Clemens getting his nuts rubbed down and then snorting. Thanks Tom Verducci. Thanks a lot.

Another interesting story came at the start of chapter 9 when Verducci wrote about the story told him about how Joe Torre chose who to put on the 2004 all-star ballot. I guess a team can pick one guy from each position and have their name added to the ballot. The Yankees at the time had both Bernie Williams and Kenny Lofton. The Yankees ended up going with Bernie after Torre pulled his name out of a hat. Lofton came off as a big sour-puss. That made me chuckle.

The chapter that was about A-Rod wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It didn't really drop any major developments on me. I didn't really learn anything knew. Anybody else feel the same way.

From what I've read so far I must say I really enjoy the book. I like reading about Yankees' seasons past and a lot of the behind the scenes type of stuff. I find reading about that to be enjoyable. Verducci has done a good job so far. And I'm not sure if any of you have caught this, but in this post I've referred a lot to Verducci and his efforts, and haven't really mentioned Joe Torre. That was intentional. I'm know not sure whose nuts Joe Torre had to rub down with hot liniment to get his name attached to this book, but most of it has very little to do with him. It's reads a lot like Verducci went to Torre with questions, Torre answered them, and Verducci incorporated that into the book. Joe's name belongs more in the "Acknowledgements" section than anywhere else. He's just a contributor. The author at Feenwager.com pretty much feels the same way. To quote him from his post, "Plus, if you read the book it’s pretty obvious he had almost nothing to do with actually writing it. Tom Verducci wrote a book about the Yankees and Joe Torre acts as the “brand”. " Well said.

I'm not sure when I'll get to pick up the book again. As I mentioned before, I don't like starting a chapter and not being able to finish it and this book has some pretty decent sized chapters. It's been hard to find the time. With the 1st spring training game starting tomorrow, I anticipate having less time than I do now, but I'll manage.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-boogie

Spring Training Coverage

For those interested in catching some Yanks' spring training games on TV or the radio, here's the schedule as originally posted on Pete Abraham's blog. I added some bonus games at the bottom that XM Radio subscribers can pick up as they'll carry some of the road games that WCBS isn't doing. Enjoy

GAMES ON YES
Feb. 26 vs. Tampa Bay, 1:15
Feb. 28 vs. Minnesota, 1:15
March 3 vs. Team USA, 1:15
March 7 vs. Atlanta, 1:15
March 10 vs. Reds, 7:15
March 14 vs. Astros, 1:15
March 17 vs. Pirates, 7:15
March 19 vs. Blue Jays, 7:15
March 24 vs. Red Sox, 7:15
April 1 vs. Phillies, 1:15
April 3 vs. Cubs (from New York), 7:05
April 4 vs. Cubs (from New York), 1:05

MLB NETWORK
March 3 vs. Team USA, 1:15
March 22 at Tampa Bay, 1:05
April 3 vs. Cubs (from New York), 7:05

GAMES ON WCBS

Feb. 28 vs. Twins, 1:15
March 7 vs. Braves, 1:15
March 14 vs. Astros, 1:15
March 15 vs. Twins, 1:15
March 21 vs. Tigers, 1:15
March 24 vs. Red Sox, 7:15
March 27 vs. Reds, 7:15
March 29 vs. Pirates, 1:15
April 3 vs. Cubs (from New York), 7:05
April 4 vs. Cubs (from New York), 1:05

GAMES ON XM RADIO

February 27 vs. Twins, XM178, 1:15
February 28 vs. Twins, XM177, 1:15
March 1 vs. Reds, XM176, 1:05

It looks like that's as far as the programming schedule goes, but hey, it's 2 games that aren't on WCBS. It's a safe bet that most of the away games will be on XM as long as the home team broadcasts the game.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Monday, February 23, 2009

Catching Up After A Few Days Off

Greetings gang. It's been a couple of days since I last posted anything with real substance. Life has been a little busy lately and it's hopefully dying down. Not much has been going on with the Yankees, which is good because it means no major injuries (knock on wood), but here are some thoughts:

  • CC missed a day with a stomach bug. Thank God that's all it was. It would really suck to lose the big man less than a week into spring training. We need CC to start 35 games. If he starts at least 35, I'm predicting he wins at least 20.
  • Jeter has soreness in his right hammy. Thank God it's early and hopefully all it is is Jeter shaking off a little rust. To quote the Captain, "It's no big deal. I did everything but run. I'm sure tomorrow you'll see me running. It's really not an issue. If I had a game today, I would have played." That's why I love DJ. When it counts, he's a gamer. The Yankees need to figure out a way to clone Derek or at least find the gene that fuels his competitive spirit. I hope this doesn't keep him out of the WBC. I have tickets to the round 1 games in Toronto and I'd be disappointed if Jeter skips the tourney. But if it means a healthy Jeter come Opening Day, I'm all for it.
  • According to reports, Jorge seems to be progressive well with his shoulder, throwing from as far as 220 feet. A healthy Posada is an important cog to the Yankees offense. We saw the impact that it had last year and I think we all can agree, assuming that we're all Yankee fans, we don't want to go through that again. There's an extreme gap between what Jorge brings to the table offensively and what Jose Molina has to offer. I love Jose Mo and all, but all I gotta say is hip hip Jorge.
  • Kudos to Joe Girardi for the team building exercise he dropped on the fellas today. Girardi put together what's being called as the "Annual World Championship of Pool." In reading the article, it sounds like the guys had a really great time and it was met with rave reviews. The big winner was none other than Mariano Rivera. Is there anything he's not good at? The winners of the tournament were given restaurant gift certificates. Come on now. These guys make enough money that the last thing they need is a gift certificate to a restaurant. I can understand it maybe if it's a guy in A-ball or even Double-A, but I don't think it's something Mo is going to cash in. What I really want to know is if they shut down the pool hall for these guys? Imagine you're hanging out and shooting some stick and in walks the Yankees. And not just one Yankee, the whole team. I think I'd crap a brick right there on the floor.
  • Phil Coke is going to pitch out of the pen. That shouldn't be a shock to anyone. There's really no room for him with all of the arms they have. Even in desperate times he probably wouldn't be needed. He's going to serve the team well in the bullpen. I wouldn't mind seeing him be the "lefty specialist" instead of Damaso Marte. Coke is it. OK, that was bad. I wouldn't blame the 5 readers I have if they don't come back after that one.
  • We're 2 days away from the first spring training game against the Blue Jays. Brett Tomko gets the start. I more excited for the home opener when Phil Hughes gets the ball. I'm a big Hughes guy and still think he has the making to be a top of the rotation guy. I expecting big things from him the next time he joins the big club. I don't see him opening the year in the majors barring an injury to one of the 5 SPs. That's probably a good thing for Phil. I wouldn't mind seeing him get a little extra seasoning down on the farm. I'm hoping to see him pitch when Scranton comes to Buffalo for games 5-8 of the AAA season. The hometown Bisons open up at home with 4 against the Pawtucket Red Sox, followed by 4 with the Yankees. I'm a fan of that schedule. It's usually at least a month before some teams I want to see roll through town.
  • I'm through chapter 11 of The Yankee Years and hope to be back with another Boogie Down Book Club installment tomorrow.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Saturday, February 21, 2009

FYI

Just a heads up that the MLB Network is featuring the Yankees tomorrow night at 8pm EST on their "30 In 30" show. I think they look back at 2008 and then look ahead at 2009.

Since the MLB Network likes to re-run the crap out of shows, you can also catch it at midnight, 8am Monday, 10am Monday, 12pm Monday, 6pm Monday if you can't make the debut at 8pm.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Little Yankee Fan

Just wanted to share a 12 second video of my little Yankee fan. Now if only I can capture him blowing raspberries and holding his nose when I mention the Red Sox.

video

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Say Cheese

Bored? Looking for something to do? Want to see some pictures of the boys in action? Yahoo has a whole bunch of them up and they can be found here. The best pictures are of the ones from today's photo day. Here are some of my faves, taken by Nick Laham/Getty Images.




Now I'm not exactly sure what these photos are being used for, but I can't imagine there's much use for them. Maybe they can use Matsui's for Valtrex as it looks like he has a little sumpin'-sumpin' on his lip. Andy looks deathly afraid of something. Jorge's ears are huge to the tenth power. Mo looks like spent the night tipping back way too many adult beverages. Joba looks a little baked. A-Rod looks like he needs a pick-me up, maybe some "boli" would do the trick. CC kind of looks like Shaq. The pictures I didn't post aren't much better. Enjoy.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Call Off The Dogs, A-Rod's Cousin Has Been Found

I don't really want to blog about A-Rod and steroids anymore, but figured people might be interested in this. The crackerjack research staff at ESPN has tracked down A-Rod's mystery cousin. Here's an article that tells all about it. Click on it if you'd like. My favorite part of the article comes from the comments section but after about a half hour of searching for it after I closed the page, I can't find it. In short, it said, "Who cares. It's over. Let's move on." All in favor, say "aye." All opposed, say "nay." The "ayes" have it. We're moving on.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Captain Speaks And We Shall Follow

Hopefully, this will be my last "A-Rod steroids" entry for quite a while. I doubt it will be, but one can always help. As promised, Yankee captain Derek Jeter addressed the media today and gave his thoughts on the whole A-Rod saga. Here are some excerpts, lifted from the article by Bryan Hoch, Yankee beat writer for MLB.com, with my comments following in bold:

"One thing that really upsets me a lot is when you hear everybody say it was the 'Steroid Era' and everybody was doing it. Well, that's not true. Everybody wasn't doing it. That's the thing that gets irritating. I think it sends the wrong message to baseball fans and kids, saying that everybody was doing it. That's just not the truth." - It's amazing how much I can sense Jeter's frustration just by reading his quote. I've heard a lot of players interviewed recently and many share this same sentiment. Jeter is without a doubt a first ballot HOFer and it's obvious he played the game clean. But no matter what happens, some people will always wonder if he truly was clean and he'll get lumped in with everyone else, with people questioning his on-the-field accomplishments. Nowadays, we fans can't be 100% on who played clean and who didn't. It wasn't long ago that everyone thought A-Rod was clean, and here we are.

"I know he's (A-Rod) very, very sorry. It's a difficult thing to do. Everybody makes mistakes, but it's probably pretty difficult to have to address it publicly in front of the whole country. We're here to support him through it. We don't condone what he did. Alex doesn't condone what he did. At this point now, it's our job to help him be as comfortable as he can on the field and try to move past this." - Can anybody picture Jeter lying? I can't. I believe him when he says that Alex is very, very sorry. That makes me believe Alex does in fact feel sorry. I don't necessarily buy most of what he said in his press conference, but I buy that. I do think it's funny that people are so quick to crucify someone over something which in the grand scheme of things is trivial. It's not like Alex went out and murdered someone. He used steroids, which as we know, was commonplace in the game. It sucks that he made the mistake of getting involved with them, but it is what it is. He's sorry. He admits his mistake. Let's move on and follow the Captain's lead. As Yankee fans we should try and help Alex be as comfortable as he can be on the field and try to help get him through this. He's still one of our own. Let's give him the support.

"I've said it time and time again -- we're here to support him through it as a teammate, the same thing as with Andy [Pettitte] last year and with Jason [Giambi] a few years ago. I get tired of hearing about things with our relationship. That's an old story. Regardless of what I do, people are going to have their opinions, but I get tired of hearing it." - Memo to the media: get over it and let the man be. Does it really matter if Derek and Alex are best buds? No.

"I don't know if Alex is going to address it again; I won't. As long as you're not constantly talking about something, I don't see how it can be a distraction. Is it going to be difficult for him, a distraction for him? I'm sure it will be. You're going to go to different places and hear it from the fans -- every game is not at Yankee Stadium. I'm sure he's going to be reminded about it." - At what point in spring training does Kim Jones ask him about this? You know it'll happen and I hope I'm tuned in when it does so I can hear his response. I understand it's the media's job to get the story and they'll probably try to get something from him. He's doing the right thing by making this the one and only time he'll discuss the matter. Hopefully, the rest of the team follows the Captain's lead. Like he said, it can't be a distraction if it's not being constantly talked about.

"Yeah, because he said it's in the past. That's all happened before he came to our team. You have respect for him as a player. Even when you have family members that make mistakes and do things wrong, you may be disappointed, but you don't lose respect for them and stop pulling for them." - Memo to those Yankee fans out there that plan on giving A-Rod the business: read that over and over again until you get the notion to boo him out of your mind. Derek Jeter is someone that all Yankee fans love and respect. Take what he's saying to heart. We may not be on the team, but we're all part of the Yankees family. Don't lose respect for Alex and don't stop rooting for him. He may not be handling this in the best manner possible. He may not be entirely truthful when he talks about it. He may be lying to our faces. I'm sure we've all had family or people close to us treat us in a similar manner and let us down. Let's help him through this. He's family.

If you're interested in hearing any of the audio, Pete Abraham has some up on his blog. But those are some retty solid quotes there from the Captian, wouldn't you say? Would you have expected anything less? Derek is a natural born leader and I hope the rest of the team follows his example. The first full workout is in the books. Spring Training is offically here and we're about a week away from games. I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited. It's been a long cold winter. The regular season is right around the corner. #27. Here we come.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Red Sox Fans Hate A-Rod More Than The Rest Of Us

Before I head off to work, I usually hit up my favorite sites to see what's going on in the wonderful world of MLB. I came across a poll over at ESPN.com asking people whether or not they felt A-Rod was credible yesterday at his press conference. Right now, after 66,360 votes, the nos have it by a margin of 52% to 48%. You can break the results down by state and when I looked at those results, I wasn't too surprised. In short, what it says, is that Red Sox fans hate A-Rod more than the rest of us.

At a quick glance, most of the states have a small difference of opinion by about 4% or so, with some scattered exceptions. When you look at the New England states, aka Red Sox Nation, the difference of opinion is much greater.

  • Maine = 69% no
  • Massachusetts = 69% no
  • New Hampshire = 66% no
  • Vermont = 57% no

It looks like there are 29 states that are on the "no" side. The only other states above 57% no is Washington (65%), Alaska (65%), and California (58%). Even New York state seems a little less biased. NY believes he was credible with 57% of the voters saying "yes."

I'm not surprised at these results. Most (not all) Red Sox fans always seem to be a little off when it comes to how the rest of the baseball world views things. A lot of Red Sox fans lost their credibility with me back in 2006 when ESPN did a poll asking who was the AL MVP. For those that don't remember, Justin Morneau won over Jeter, with David Ortiz finishing a distant 3rd, with no 1st place votes. In that poll, there were 4 states that thought David Ortiz was the MVP. Those 4 states are the same 4 states mentioned above, aka Red Sox Nation. Jeter was the top vote getter in every other state, except for four: Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Iowa. Those four thought Morneau was the winner, which goes to show the regional bias there as those states all are in Twins country. But I get that. Morneau did after all win the award. But what I don't get, and I still scratch my head about to this day, is how Red Sox fans put their guy above two far better candidates? Oh Red Sox fans. You're an odd bunch, obviously living in your own little world. Again, not all of you are like that, but a good number of you are.

As for how I voted in the poll, I voted twice. Once yes, and once no. Had there been a 3rd choice, something along the lines of "sort of," I would have chose that. I think he tried to be truthful but still left a lot of questions unanswered. I believed some of what he said, but didn't believe him on some things. Hence, my 2 votes. Perhaps more will come out in the future as I'm sure the media still has a lot of questions and I'm sure they're doing all they can to hunt down A-Rod's "cousin." As much as Alex and the Yankees want this to go away, we're not done with this story yet.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Alex Speaks And J-Boogie Blogs

My attempt to listen to A-Rod's press conference today as it happened failed miserably. The stars were aligned against me. I didn't want my impression of Alex or his interview be influenced by anyone's opinions, so I turned off the radio, plugged in my iPod and jammed out to some tunes for the rest of the day. It's now about 8pm and I finally have the time to sit down and watch the interview. I figured it would be easier to blog my thoughts on the interview as I watched it, so that's what I'm doing. I have a special guest with me, the missus, and she'll probably chime in with a thought or two as well. She is 7 months pregnant and very moody, which doesn't bode well for A-Rod. And we're off.....

  • Don Hooten is in the house. An obvious attempt at A-Rod's camp to build some support and show that he's sympathetic to the cause. Well played, but a little too obvious.
  • He's reading his prepared statement and I'm wondering who wrote it for him. My wife is looking at him and wonders the same, thinking he's reading this for the first time and not believing what's on the paper. His eyes are kind of giving that away and he doesn't have a good flow to his reading.
  • He looks a lot less orange today.
  • He's blaming this on his "cousin"? Umm, ok.
  • So he thought it was harmless and would only give him an energy boost. We're not buying it.
  • Is there a performance enhancing drug to make someone a better actor? Talk about a dramatic pause. And all that just to say "thank you." That was such a failed attempt at trying to cry.
  • Time for some Q&A from the media. This should be fun.
  • Does he really think going to college would have made him less naive?
  • I liked the question about if he was injected or took pills. The wife says, "is there anything you can inject that's legal that you can buy OTC?" I'm wondering how he only thought it was only going to increase his energy. Injecting yourself twice a month, for 6 months, for 3 years and it's just for energy? Yeah right. Who came up with that story? Drink some coffee or pop a greenie.
  • The wife thinks it's shady that the "banned substance" came from the DR. She's now calling him "Shade-Rod."
  • Did George King really think Alex was going to give up the name of his cousin? What a waste of a question.
  • He's really playing up the "young and stupid" card.
  • He thinks that the team will be closer because of this. I hope he's right.
  • He just finished thanking the team again, saying "it'll be the best season of our lives." My wife finished his sentence by adding, "cause I'm going to get you guys some good stuff from the DR."
  • Mike Vaccarro just stumped him by asking him "if he didn't think what he was doing was wrong, why was he so secretive about it?" He took a while to answer and I can't help but wonder if his crisis management team is feeding him answers. And his "I knew we weren't taking tic-tacs"comment puzzled me. You don't inject tic tacs last time I checked. I thought that was a very odd and curious response.
  • Big up to Alex for the damage control he did by apologizing to Selena Roberts. But he didn't really have a choice now, did he?
  • Kat O'Brien just wasted her question. Did she really think he'd rat out other players?
  • Joel Sherman gets the award for best question of the day. A-Rod dodges the question and defaults to his "young and stupid" response. He is beating that into the ground.

My wife's closing comments: I wonder how much he's paying these people to tell him what to say. If he's really clean, he should be willing to pee on a stick every day for the rest of his career to prove he's trustworthy.

My closing comments: Wow. I'm not really sure what to think about what I just saw. I'll give him props for taking his lumps. That had to be tough to do. I just wonder how truthful he really was. He's definitely given more than any of the guys that have been busted. I sensed that some of his answers were prepared or thought of beforehand. He had a good coach that's for sure. He wants me to judge him from this day forward and I'll do that for him. Even though I don't believe him 100%, I think he was being as sincere as he could have been and I'll be glad to put this in the past. I do think he's been clean since he's been a Yankee. And I really hope that this is the last time we see a Yankee holding a press conference to discuss their steroid use. Giambi. Pettitte. A-Rod. It's becoming a tradition and it's one I can live without.

Jeter comments tomorrow. Can't wait to hear what the Captain has to say.

Peace, love and steroid-free Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Work Sucks

Of course, as I expected, the reception on my XM Radio is failing now that the A-Rod press conference is on. And the bits and pieces I can hear, are being drowned out by several co-workers who choose now to have a loud conversation. On top of that, I've received 2 phone calls and had two people stop by my desk with work related questions. I've sat here all day with no visitors, noise, or reception problems, and only now do these things come up. Thankfully, I figured out how to program my DVR remotely so I'll at least get to check it out later, assuming of course that it recorded it correctly.

D-Day For A-Rod

We're a little more than 2 hours away from A-Rod's press conference. I am really curious to see how this goes down. Stupid me forgot to set up the DVR so I'll have to settle for the highlights. I have the capability to set up things to record via the Internet but have no idea how to do it. They are carrying it on XM Radio so I'll at least have that. Hopefully the reception holds up.

This is going to be quite the interesting day. I really hope A-Rod just opens up and comes clean on everything. Failing to do so is only going to mean he'll be questioned about it until all the questions are answered. He needs to be open and honest about everything. The more honest he is, the less questions he'll get. Just admit to everything you did and end this matter once and for all.

Knowing A-Rod and how he operates, I don't see that happening. At least not to that degree. I'm sure he'll open up about somethings, but he won't be as up front and honest as he should be. I heard/read he's hired a crisis management team. Ugh. That to me says he's not ready to be honest. I'm guessing he's being coached on what to say and how to present himself. I'd imagine they've gone over every question they think he'll get and how he'll answer them. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up wearing a microscopic earpiece and recites answers being read to him. That would be the worse thing he can do. I hate to be cliche, but he needs to speak from the heart. I don't know why he needs a crisis management team. Having one on the payroll just shows that Alex is more concerned about his image than anything else. Stupid. Just stupid.

I haven't gotten too into Spring Training yet. I thought I'd be more into it but so far it's been pretty tame. I haven't seen any video of the guys and the only pics I've seen are the crappy ones from Pete Abraham's iPhone. I am excited to see footage of Teixeira, CC, A.J., pretty much everybody. Work has also been pretty busy lately and that's kept me a little out of the loop. We had some staff changes from a re-org and I had to deliver 2 dozen performance reviews. Not fun.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Pitchers and catchers reported today. Spring Training is officially here!! The regular season will be here before we know it. The march to #27 starts today.

Position players officially report on Tuesday and that's when the whole A-Rod hoopla will kick off. I'm kind of getting tired of all the steroids talk. I just want it to go away so we can focus on the great game of baseball. To do that, I think they need to release the other 103 names that tested positive back in 2003. I've heard a few interviews from players in recent days calling for the names to be released so they can make sure people know they're clean. I think they (reporters) should put everyone on record as saying whether or not they tested positive in 2003, or were told they may have or may not have tested positive, like A-Rod claims he was by Gene Orza. The reporters down there should just flat out ask everybody. Give everyone the chance to say if they're clean or dirty. Guys would be foolish now to lie, even though most likely would. And I would think anyone who's clean, would want the world to know. Let's just get this whole ordeal out of the way. Let's move on.

Be back later with more thoughts.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Going Camping

For the moment, the A-Rod steroids scandal has dies down. I'm sure it will pick up again on Tuesday when he shows up at camp and throngs of reporters descend upon him looking for answers. Quite frankly, he has it coming to him.

This week's Sports Illustrated came out today and the feature article is of course about A-Rod. I have no interest whatsoever in giving SI my money so I doubt I'll read the article unless I happen upon it at the doctor's office or at my mechanics. And since I have no plans to visit either of those places, knock on wood, I doubt I'll check it out. If anyone has read it and wants to share their thoughts, please fire away. No real updates on the allegations Alex made about Selena Roberts. Lots o' sites, including yours truly, looked into it and everyone seems to come to the same conclusion: nobody out there can back up A-Rod's claims. Here's an article from the NY Daily News if you're interested. I'm pretty sure Alex wouldn't have made these things up on a lark. There has to be some basis to his claims, even if he's just blowing them all out of proportion. And I'd probably guess that Roberts was up to some shady dealings, despite what she's said in her gazillion interviews. The more I hear her talk, the more I don't like her. I'm sure she's not squeaky clean in all this. I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Oh well, let's move on, if only for a few days.

Lots of guys are showing up early to camp. Pete Abraham, Yankee beat blogger extraordinaire, has been providing lots of updates. Quick editorial on Pete: He has the best blog on the Yankees there is. Constantly updating with news as it happens. He loses me though when he starts dropping his thoughts on guys. He obviously dislikes certain people and it comes through quite regularly. I can live without that. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming! Here are some nuggets he dropped on us today:

  • The Yanks invited 3 more guys to camp today: George Kontos, Kanekoa Texeira, and J.B. Cox. All 3 are RHPs and all 3 won't make the big league club when camp breaks. At one point, I really like Cox. (Mind out of the gutters pervs). But he's digressed in his development and I don't really think he'll ever materialize into much. I wouldn't mind being wrong.
  • Jorge Posada is looking good. Pete reports he's "showing good pop in the cage" and is "throwing well." That's great news. Jorge is going to be a huge part of the offense this year. We saw what happened last year with his bat out of the lineup. I like Jose Molina and all, but he's nothing compared to JoPo. Jorgie needs to stay healthy. hopefully, they keep a watchful eye on his wing and don't let him do anything before he's ready.

According to the countdown clock on the Yankees website we're 1 day, 13 hours and 34 minutes away from pitchers and catchers reporting. Man I'm excited. I always equate P&Cs reporting to the first day of school. You're so excited to see the friends you've missed and get back to hanging with them every day. It'll be good to get back together with the 'ol gang and welcome some newbies into the club. One of these days, I'll get down to Tampa to check it out for myself. The wife and I talk about going every year but it's tough when you've got an 18-month old and another on the way. She's a teacher and her mid-winter break always falls at the opening of camp so it'd perfect. But like I do every year, I'll be keeping up on things here in sunny old Buffalo. Ugh.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Update On A-Rod's Trespassing Allegation From My Unnamed Source

As I mentioned in my last post, I sent an e-mail to a few people at the University of Miami to see if I could find anything out about the allegation that A-Rod made against Selena Roberts. For those that have been living under a rock since yesterday, A-Rod stated in his interview with Peter Gammons that, "This lady (Roberts) has five days ago just been thrown out of the University of Miami police for trespassing."

In my e-mail to the university, I asked if Selena Roberts had been escorted out of the facility and if the campus police were involved in any way. I received a response via e-mail and my "unnamed source" says, "Jay, the university has no record of any such incident."

Now I trust this source. I would think this person would definitely know if something went down. Considering "the university has no record of any such incident," I'm concluding that Alex is likely making this up. Now I can't say with 100% certainty that the response I received is on the level, but I have no reason not to believe it.

Yesterday, or should say late last night-early this morning, I explained the remark he made about her breaking into his house. From what I gathered, it didn't sound like that was the case. And now the U of M comes out with no record of any incident. I'm inclined to believe that if the campus police were involved, an incident report would have been filed. Based on the information provided to me by my "source," I'm now believing Roberts' more than A-Rod when it comes to his allegations. I'm having trouble understanding why he'd make these allegations up if they weren't true. Alex would have to know he'd get caught in that lie. Maybe he believes it. Maybe he has a different view on things. Either way, as of now, I'm not buying what he's selling.

When I was out on my lunch break today I was listening to the Jim Rome show. A-Rod of course dominated the calls and e-mails. One person called in and mentioned something that I totally missed the day before. At one point, he said, "I get to start a new chapter in my life where I can only focus on baseball, my team, the fans of New York, and recommitting a hundred percent of my focus. I can't wait to get to spring training. Because to play with -- going through a divorce, this gorilla on my back, not being 100 percent honest and forthright and being transparent, I get to play baseball, the game I love most. That's my savior, the game of baseball." Alex also said in the interview, "To be quite honest with you, the first time that I knew I had failed a test 100 percent was when the lady from Sports Illustrated [Selena Roberts] came into my gym just a few days ago and told me, 'You have failed a test.'" He further remarked, "In my mind I assumed that, OK, whatever I was experiencing in Texas perhaps was OK, I'm OK. And in my mind, as I did my interview with CBS last year, I felt I haven't failed a test ... And that was my belief."

I am going to piggy back off the caller and ask this question: How have you been playing with a gorilla on your back if you didn't know you tested positive until just a few days ago, and honestly believed you hadn't failed a test? It makes no sense and just furthers the belief that he's being disingenuous. I appreciate the fact that he owned up to it, but I'm getting more and more agitated at how hollow and fake his response was. There are a lot of inconsistencies in his interview. He's going to report to Spring Training in a matter of days and he will no doubt get grilled about his interview by the horde of reporters that will undoubtedly flock to Tampa to try to get the story. He should have been as up front and forthright as he could have in his interview, answering the questions so he doesn't need to get asked them. The team doesn't need this and that's what pisses me off the most.

This had the makings to be a really great and fun year and I don't like the way it's starting.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

My First Attempt At "Investigative Reporting"

I'm still puzzled by the allegations A-Rod made about Selena Roberts in his interview yesterday. I don't really know who to believe and I kind of what to know the truth. Based on the number of stories being run in newspapers, and the number of posts/comments being made on blogs, I'd say a lot of people are curious to know the truth.

Now, there's not much I can do from my little corner of the world, but what I did do is e-mail some people at the University of Miami, asking if they could comment on her visit, specifically how it ended. I doubt I'll be the one to figure it out, but it doesn't hurt me in the least to send a few e-mails. I think it would be cool to get a response and come across some kind of info. I'll admit it. I just really want to post a story where I can use the phrase, "according to unnamed sources with knowledge of the subject." That's really what I want.

I'm pretty sure she mentioned in her interview with Bob Costas that she was escorted out, and if that's the case, it suggests some people of authority were involved in getting her to leave. I also e-mailed the MLB Network requesting a transcript of the interview so I could look to see if I heard what I thought I heard. If she was escorted out, maybe she wasn't given a ticket or cited for trespassing, but it would, in my opinion, give a little bit more credence to A-Rod's claims. If it doesn't, than I have to wonder what A-Rod is talking about. I really want to believe Alex here. He doesn't need to be found any more of a liar than he already is. And right now, like I said yesterday, I'm about 51/49 on the side of the reporter.

If and when I get a response, I'll definitely post about it. I'm not holding my breath. I wouldn't hold yours. If anyone comes across any information confirming or denying A-Rod's claims, let me know.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Monday, February 9, 2009

Even More On Selena Roberts

I was laying in bed, trying to drift to sleep, thinking about the events from the day. I kept coming back to the allegations A-Rod made about Selena Roberts in his interview with Peter Gammons. Specifically, he said, "I mean, what makes me upset is that Sports Illustrated pays this lady, Selena Roberts, to stalk me. This lady has been thrown out of my apartment in New York City. This lady has five days ago just been thrown out of the University of Miami police for trespassing. And four days ago she tried to break into my house where my girls are up there sleeping, and got cited by the Miami Beach police. I have the paper here. This lady is coming out with all these allegations, all these lies because she's writing an article for Sports Illustrated and she's coming out with a book in May."

Roberts responded to those allegations, calling them "absurd." So that got me thinking. Who's telling the truth? In my earlier blog post, I wrote that I sided with A-Rod on that one, only because I can't see why he'd lie, and I can see why she'd do what he's alleging. I remembered something from her interview earlier in the week with the MLB Network and I decided to get up and see if I could find it. I didn't but it did lead me to and an interview she did tonight with the MLB Network. They gave her a chance to respond to Alex's allegations and she referred to it as "pure fabrication on his part." She said, "I've never set foot in the lobby of his New York apartment. I've never spoken to the University of Miami police, being on their campus. I've never set foot on his home property, or been cited by the Miami police for doing so." The classic he said, she said. Who am I to believe?

Before I get to the thought that caused me to get out of bed, I'll start with the part about "trying to break into his house." A-Rod lives on a public island in Miami. The island has a guard shack. Roberts went to the guard shack and the guard didn't know if the island was public or private, so they called the police to verify it. The police came out, said it was a public island, and said she could drive in. She says Alex's car wasn't there, so she left, and she then went to the weight room. The MLB Network obtained a copy of a Miami Beach police miscellaneous incident report that supports her claim. They made it sound like the police filling these reports out are a formality. If true, and it sounds like it is according to the police report, that's a far cry from someone trying to break into your house. Now I don't necessarily buy that she drove up and just looked for his car, and left when she didn't see it. I don't think it's a stretch to think she might of gone peering in a window or two and maybe was seen by a groundskeeper or something. If that's the case, I'm sure it'll come out.

But what originally got me out of bed was something I remembered from her interview on Saturday with Bob Costas. I remember her talking about her meeting with Alex in the University of Miami gym. I had hoped to find video or a transcript of the interview, but as of now, no luck. I've found clips of the interview, but not the part I'm looking for. It was in the latter part of the interview. I remember her talking about how A-Rod felt when she confronted him in the gym. She talked about how she thinks he felt violated because the gym was his "sanctuary." He told her he wasn't saying anything, put his headphones back on, and went back to working out. I vaguely remember her saying she had him escorted out and that's what my mind was focusing on.

In her interview today with the MLB Network, she had a different, less confrontational account of how their meeting in the gym ended. She said she walked back there, talked to him for a few minutes, and then left. She said she didn't even see the police and none were involved. She said in the interview, "When I left Alex on Thursday, umm, you know he was not happy I was there. He was getting a little agitated so I said, 'Hey listen. I'm going to leave. But here is my card.'" What happened to the being escorted out part? I know I heard that. The phrase "escorted out" to me means that someone in a position of authority was involved in removing you. Could it have been the campus police? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Man, I wish I could find video of that interview. Who knows? To steal a word from Roger Clemens, maybe I'm mis-remembering it. But if it does in fact mention being escorted out, I'm inclined to believe Alex on that claim. And that would then make the other claims he made even more believable. Like the other instances Alex mentioned, I'm sure someone will verify it.

I'm not sure why I care so much about this. To be honest, I'm kind of tired of writing about Selena Roberts. I hate that I'm giving her so much "air time" if you will. But something is off and I'd just like to know the truth. Whether it's her or Alex lying, I want to know. It's painful to admit, but as of right now, I'm about 51/49 on the side of Roberts in terms of who I believe. But I just don't see why Alex would make this up. He has to know this stuff could be verified and the last thing he wants to do is get caught lying about something.

Is it time yet for pitchers and catchers to report?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

A-Rod Opens Up But Questions Still Remain

I just got done watching the full interview A-Rod did with Peter Gammons. Wow. I didn't think I was going to get all that. I don't know the exact running time of the interview, but it had to be close to 30-35 minutes. I'm glad Alex "came clean" and admitted to using PEDs. It was the right move. hopefully, we can all move on from this and get back to bantering about baseball.

As for the content of the interview, Alex gave me more than I expected, but left me puzzled a few times.

  • Alex claims to not knowing exactly what he used. I find that hard to believe. Athletes don't put random crap in their bodies. I'm pretty sure A-Rod knew exactly what he used. I was hoping Gammons would ask him if he ever injected himself with anything, but I'm not surprised he didn't. It seemed like a very structured interview. There weren't really any follow up questions to Alex's answers. I'm sure some reporters are going to throw those questions at him at some point.
  • I don't quite follow the timeline. He said he stopped using in spring training of 2003 but admitted to using from 2001-2003. I don't get what he meant when he said that the timeline was "pretty accurate." And again, Gammons didn't follow-up on the answer. He wasn't sure of the timing of the 2003 test and when he stopped using. I would have expected him to know the answer to that question.
  • He said that Gene Orza told him he may or may not have failed a test back in 2004 and that he hadn't heard anything about failing until Roberts bumrushed him Thursday in the gym. Since he hadn't heard anything about the test from 2004 until 2 days ago, he took that to mean that he wasn't on the government's list of those who tested positive. He also said he hasn't seen the test results and would like to, so he can see what he took. Now here's where I get confused. If he hasn't seen the test and didn't know until 2 days ago that he had failed, what's he admitting to? Based on his feelings for Selena Roberts, I wouldn't think he would take anything she says as the truth. Yet, he's admitting to using banned substances based on her report. That doesn't add up. The conclusion I'm drawing is that he knows what he took (see bullet point #1) and he knows it was a PED. I appreciate him coming out and admitting to using, but I don't think he was 100% on the level in his responses.
  • He said he's been tested randomly 8-10 times since 2004 and has been clean since leaving Texas. I believe that 100%. He said this was the biggest regret of his life. It may not be the biggest regret of his life, but I imagine it's up there. Gammons said post-interview that it was a very emotional day for A-Rod. I could sense that a little bit. At one point I thought he was tearing up. I felt he tried to be as genuine as possible, even though as i mentioned in my last bullet point, not everything seemed on the level.
  • I noticed at times he had trouble making eye contact with Gammons. There were also some instances where he took his time in thinking of his response, which I took to be a good thing. I'm sure some newspaper out there will have a body language expert review the interview to try and prove whether or not he was genuine. Look for that tomorrow because I'm sure it's being worked on.
  • Alex wasn't afraid to tell us how he feels about Selena Roberts. He mentioned how SI basically pays her to stalk him. She was thrown out of his NYC apartment. She had a run in with the University of Miami police. She tried to break into his house. I immediately pictured her trying to climb through an open window. It was probably more like she climbed the gate and trespassed on his property. Roberts has denied these allegations, calling them "absurd." This is interesting. It's something that you'd think is easy to verify so why would either one lie about it. I have to believe Alex here. I can see Roberts being overzealous in her pursuit of confronting A-Rod. There are definitely reporters out there who will do anything for a story. I don't know why but I can picture her doing the things Alex said. Alex mentioned in his interview he had a copy of the citation she was given. I guarantee you somebody is already looking into this. I can't think of a reason why A-Rod would make this up. This could get interesting.

I'm glad Alex stepped up to the plate and owned up to what he did, even if there are still a few questions surrounding his answers. He admitted it, and that's the bottom line. I'm disappointed in him, but I can get past it pretty easily. I believe that he's clean and has been clean since he's been with the Yankees. I still think he's the best player I've ever seen play the game and that's not something that his steroid use will change. It's very easy of us non-athletes to blast these guys for doing what they did. I'm not condoning the behavior. It's wrong, no doubt about it. But who are we to pass judgement on these guys? Alex pointed out in his interview that it was the culture of the game. I can understand that. It wouldn't be called the "steroid era" if a handful of guys were using. 104 people tested positive in 2003. It doesn't make me like the guys that got caught any less. It makes me appreciate those that didn't even more. If only, I knew who those guys were.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

Alex's Interview @ 6pm On ESPN

Alex's interview with Peter Gammons will air tonight during the 6pm edition of Sports Center. They played a little sound clip from the interview on XM and he admitted to taking a banned substance. A friend of mine called me and mentioned he said he took the PEDs from 2001-2003. I'm glad Alex did the right thing and fessed up. It's too bad he only did it because he got caught and didn't have a choice.

I tried to transcribe what he said in the little sound clip they palyed and here's what I got: "I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth...umm....(long pause)...being one of the greatest players. I am deeply regretful." I may not have it 100% right but it's close.

The interesting part of that clip is the pause. I had the same thoughts about it as the hosts of XM's show. It was as if he was about to say, I wanted to prove I was worth the $250 million dollar contract, but instead he shifted gears mid-sentence and went down the "greatest player" road. It sounds to me that Alex felt he couldn't live up to his contract and used the "juice" to prove his worth. I'm inferring he decided to use because of the pressure of the contract. Based on the small audio clip I heard, that's what I'm inferring. The full interview should shed a little more light on things and I can't ait for 6pm to roll around.

J-Boogie

A-Rod Speaks: Guilty As Charged

I've been listening to XM Radio's MLB channel all day. It's pretty much been A-Rod around the clock. They just read a statement from him or from ESPN. In short, he admitted in an interview with Peter Gammons that he used steroids. That interview will air sometime tonight and I'll post my thoughts about it once I've seen it.

Kaboom!

Can't wait to hear that interview.

J-Boogie

My E-Mail To Selena Roberts

I don't know why I'm on such a Selena Roberts kick. I'm just trying to make heads and tails of all of this and most of my questions lie with Selena Roberts, the reporter at SI.com who broke the story about A-Rod testing positive for steroids back in 2003. So I drafted an e-mail of my questions and sent them off to Ms. Roberts. Now, I have no idea of my e-mail was sent to the right address. After several attempts at different addresses, I finally didn't get one returned as undeliverable. So fingers crossed it made it to her. Here is what I sent:

Ms. Roberts-

Hello. I author a New York Yankees fan blog called Baseball & The Boogie Down. I would first like to start by congratulating you on breaking this story. It's a bombshell to say the least. My readers and I do have some questions though about your article and we'd certainly be appreciative if you could take the time to review and answer our questions. Your role in this matter has been pivotal, and suggests you have a sincere desire to share the information. We thank you in advance for your response.

1)In the Q&A you did with SI.com, one of your answers mentioned that while working on a profile piece on Alex, you began to hear whispers of his steroid use. What were the specific things you heard and where did you hear them?

2)You also mentioned in that Q&A you and David Epstein went through a "meticulous process" when verifying and re-verifying the information you had. Can you outline that process and explain what steps were taken to verify the authenticity of the information?

3)You have mentioned that you confronted Alex with the evidence you had about a positive test. From what I've been able to gather from your article and interviews you've done, it sounds like the basis of your report is based on the information given to you by 4 independent sources. What evidence do you have? Do you have, or have you seen, physical evidence that supports their claims that Alex tested positive, or is it purely based on statements they made to you about a positive test? You use the term "hard evidence" in one of your responses. The term "hard evidence" implies you have something physical and more than the statements made by 4 people. I haven't seen anything from you that I take as "hard evidence." Can you clarify what evidence you have, or have seen, to back up your claims?

4)How did you come into contact with your sources? Did you find them or did they seek you out? Do sources receive any form of compensation for their information?

5)You mentioned that you do not have any of the other 103 names that tested positive in 2003. Do you know if your sources know these names, and if so, why wasn't that information pursued by you, or any of your colleagues?


My readers and I again would like to thank you for taking the time to review and respond to our questions. We appreciate your efforts in breaking this story and look forward to receiving your response. Thank you.

I'm not setting out to try to disprove her claims. I don't doubt that Alex's name appears on that list. I'm just working to get a better understanding of her process and what went in to breaking a story like this. I haven't convicted him yet and part of that is because right now all of the dots aren't connected. I'd just like to know more and since Alex hasn't yet responded, I figured why not send Roberts an e-mail. Speaking of a response from Alex, XM Radio is reporting he is supposed to speak to ESPN sometime today. I don't have any more info other than that. But I'll share it if I hear something.

It's been about 15 minutes and I still haven't gotten the undeliverable e-mail. I'm taking that to mean my e-mail found its intended recipient. And now we wait.......

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie